Arkansas Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Plan
Following years of declines in populations of monarch butterflies and pollinators, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received petitions to list several pollinator species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The presidents of the United States and Mexico and the prime minister of Canada have called for cooperative action to address declining monarch populations. In June 2014, a Presidential Memorandum was issued from the White House directing federal actions to address the issue of pollinator conservation resulting in the creation of a Pollinator Health Task Force and the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.
Following a summit of state and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, landowners and others in 2015, a concerted effort was made to bring greater focus to the plight of the monarch butterfly and pollinators in Arkansas. Summit attendees agreed that a statewide strategy should be developed in the form of a state monarch and pollinator conservation plan. This document is the result of that commitment.
The plan is based on cooperation and collaboration and is a living document that will be periodically updated. It supports ongoing practices that benefit monarchs and pollinators and points out adjustments in other programs and practices that will improve monarch and pollinator habitat. It lays out a strategy
to help agencies, organizations, businesses and individual Arkansans understand the need for action and the part they can play in recovering these important populations.
The focus areas for the development of this plan were to:
- set goals for monarch and pollinator habitat efforts in the state, including strengthening existing work, identifying gaps, and prioritizing actions,
- create a holistic, coordinated statewide strategy for supporting monarchs and pollinators,
- develop a collaborative effort to attract resources needed to the state’s monarch population while boosting populations of all pollinator species, and
- identify opportunities to integrate our efforts with other regional and national initiatives.
While this document has been finalized, we do invite any and all comments on the plan. A link to a standardized comment form is available online. Comments can also be submitted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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